Aaron Gordon may have already faced LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but he knows very well Jimmy Butler will be an entirely different challenge when the Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday ahead of the Nuggets-Heat series, Gordon admitted it will be difficult to slow down Butler. While many expect him to do so since he was able to have success defending against LeBron, Durant and even Karl-Anthony Towns during their playoff run in the Western Conference, the Denver forward is in no way underestimating the Miami superstar.
“Jimmy does everything. He does all of the intangible things. He plays the game within the game,” Gordon said of Butler, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports.
Aaron Gordon certainly couldn't have said it any better. Sure, the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant might be more talented or deadlier scorers compared to Jimmy Butler, but if there is one thing the Heat star has proven in their Cinderella run in the postseason, it's the fact that he's one of the best big-stage players in the game today. Playoff Jimmy is just different, plain and simple.
Fortunately for the Nuggets, Gordon has the right mentality heading into the NBA Finals. As Denver's defensive anchor, Gordon couldn't afford to slip up and give Butler and co. some confidence that they can make easy work of their defense. The Heat are already brimming with confidence anyway, and the last thing they would want is to further fuel that.
The Gordon-Butler match-up will surely be interesting to watch. Hopefully, both sides don't disappoint.